If you're one of the many who choose to indulge in all things romance on Valentine's Day and are looking for a little a little inspiration this year, here's a list of some of our favorite romantic moments (polled from GLAAD staff) featuring LGBT characters. These aren't ranked, but stand out as memorable or iconic moments from some of our favorite films and television shows (and one PSA). Check out the list below, and let us know your own favorite moments in the comments!
"When Stef and Lena got married on The Fosters"
ABC Family's The Fosters summer finale featured the wedding of Stef and Lena Foster, which made history as the first same-sex wedding on American, English-language television after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and repealed Prop 8. The couple's touching vows were made all the more poignant by how close they came to not happening when Stef was shot in the line of duty weeks before. The newlyweds followed the ceremony with a touching dance to Macklemore & Lewis' "Same Love" with their children.
"When Blaine proposed to Kurt in Glee"
Glee's current season kicked off with the engagement of fan favorite couple Kurt and Blaine. Blaine arranges a surprise musical proposal at Dalton Academy, where the couple first met as Blaine serenaded Kurt with "Teenage Dream." For the proposal, Blaine is backed by four choirs and the visiting Rachel, Santana and Mercedes, while singing "All You Need is Love" with a bit of pronoun-altered "he loves you" at the end. Once Kurt is standing in the exact spot they met, Blaine asks Kurt to marry him and Kurt (of course) says yes.
"When Anna Madrigal and Edgar Halcyon flew a kite on the beach in Tales of the City"
After learning he had cancer, millionaire businessman Edgar Halcyon started taking more risks in life, which included falling into a romantic affair with the free-spirited Anna Madrigal. In one of the most memorable scenes from their relationship, Anna borrows a kite from some teenagers on the beach, allowing Edgar and herself some time to indulge in carefree fun. When Anna later told him she was also transgender, Edgar didn't care at all, and revealed that he wanted to spend his last days on earth with her.
"When Brian showed up for Justin's prom on Queer as Folk"
The love story of Brian and Justin on Queer as Folk certainly wasn't what anyone might call stable, but did contain at least one memorable romantic moment when, after initially saying no, Brian showed up at Justin's senior prom and shared a slow dance with him. Though things soon took a bad turn, for many a young gay viewer, it was a wonderful daydream wish-fulfillment moment.
"When the girls hide out in the auto body shop in Mosquita y Mari"
This crowd-funded Sundance entry from Aurora Guerrero told a rarely seen, but particularly of-the-moment, love story between two Latina high school girls whose friendship begins to blur into something more. In one poignant scene, the girls find relaxing refuge away from the pressures of the outside world in an empty auto body shop, and express their unspoken affection for one another through words traced in the car window dust.
"When Wade buys back Noah's car on Noah's Arc"
Noah's Arc centered around a group of gay, African American best friends, but aspiring screenwriter Noah's relationship with Wade was one of the show's highlights, (which was given an appropriately romantic ending in the feature film Noahs' Arc: Jumping the Broom.) Earlier on in the series though, Wade proved his love when Noah was forced to sell one of his most beloved possessions – his vintage convertible – to make ends meet, which Wade then secretly bought back just in time for Noah's surprise party.
"When Willow and Tara slowed danced through the air on Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Willow and Tara's relationship on Buffy resonated with the show's passionate fan base because it had a bit of magic in it. The two college-aged witches slowly came out to Willow's friends as their love for each other deepened, but it wasn't until Buffy and co. saved Tara from her magic-fearing family that she finally felt fully accepted. At Tara's birthday that night, she and Willow celebrated with a slow dance that had them literally floating on air.
"When Ennis hugs Jack in Brokeback Mountain"
With its sweeping vistas and repressed desires, Brokeback Mountain is in many ways a classic example of a tragic American love story, making its few outwardly romantic moments all the more memorable. Jack and Ennis' secret relationship gradually took its toll on Jack who eventually told Ennis in an oft-quoted scene that he'd had enough, prompting the typically stoic Ennis to break down crying. Jack rushes to his side, demonstrating their love for each other was strong even after years of living separate lives.
"When Megan comes to rescue Graham from 'straight graduation' in But I'm a Cheerleader"
After being kicked out of "True Directions," an ex-gay counseling program, Megan comes back during the camp's graduation to declare her love for Graham, the girl she fell in love with and had to leave behind. Megan uses a cheer to declare her love for Graham in front of the bigoted audience. While they are being chased by the camp's director, the two of them run away in the bed of a truck to a place where they can be together at last.
"When Rachel runs through gridlock traffic to find Luce in Imagine Me and You"
One only needs to look at the sheer number of fan-vids on YouTube dedicated to Luce and Rachel from Imagine Me and You to see how effectively this romantic comedy has connected with viewers over the years. After Luce meets Rachel on her wedding day (to a man), the two become friends who gradually realize their feelings for each other go much deeper. Things come to a head when Rachel realizes she's about to lose the woman of her dreams unless she takes action, so in classic rom-com fashion she runs through a traffic jam looking for her before screaming her name from the top of a car.
"When the guy proposes on his birthday in the 'It's Time' PSA"
One of the most moving and widely seen same–sex love stories in recent memory wasn't a movie or TV show at all, but a PSA for marriage equality from Australia called "It's Time." Shot from a first-person perspective, an entire story plays out as the viewer watches scenes from someone's relationship with a young man in quick succession, going through life's familiar ups and downs and culminating with a marriage proposal. It's not until the camera pulls back to reveal the POV character saying "yes" that the viewer realizes they've been watching a relationship between two men the entire time. This two-minute short film currently has 12 and a half million views on YouTube.
"When Kim danced with Paul in Different for Girls"
Paul takes Kim to the type of concert that the two used to go to in high school - only to find that while Kim still loves the music, she never loved the mosh pits. After Paul gets in a fight with a stranger who said something rude about Kim being a transgender woman, the two retreat to Paul's grimy apartment, and Kim asks him to put on the music that they both love. Kim and Paul dance as sirens ring and police lights flash outside the window.
"When Ste danced with Jamie in Beautiful Thing"
Two teenage boys living in working-class London find love with each other in Beautiful Thing, though social and family pressures threaten to keep them apart. School jock Ste and social outcast Jamie finally stop worrying about what everyone else thinks when they start dancing together to Mama Cass outside their council flat, prompting Jamie's mother and best friend to do the same in a show of support.
"Callie and Arizona say 'I love you' for the first time on Grey's Anatomy"
Lately Callie and Arizona have been going through a rough patch but those two should remember how romantic they can be. During season six Arizona loses a patient during a surgery she was performing on her birthday. She comes home to Callie asleep on the couch with a party hat on and holding a plate of donuts to celebrate Arizona's birthday, trying to make her day just a little better. The sweet gesture leads to Arizona declaring her love to Callie for the first time.
"When Jesús waits nine hours for a date with Lafayette"
It was nice when Lafayette found out that the reason Jesús came to visit him at Merlotte's wasn't to tell him his mother was dead, but to ask him on a date. After some beating around the bush, Jesús waited nine hours while Lafayette worked in the kitchen. And good thing he did, because the two were close partners in love and magic for three seasons. Even after dying in season five (it happens a lot on this show), Jesús' spirit came back to comfort Lafayette as he mourned, telling him "Just keep breathing."